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NMI health supplies diverted to Guam

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THE Pacific Island Health Officers Association or PIHOA is redirecting the shipment of supplies for the CNMI to Guam, which had 820 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and seven deaths as of Sunday.

The Guam Daily Post reported that the island had 53 new confirmed cases on Sunday.

Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna said the CNMI usually gets supplies for Covid-19 prevention, including test kits and personal protective equipment or PPE, from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through PIHOA.

But because of the urgency of the situation on Guam, the CNMI shipment from PIHOA this past week will be diverted to the territory.

“They asked if that could be forwarded to Guam instead,” Muna said. “We said yes.”

Established in 1986, PIHOA is an organization of health officials of six U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands: Guam, the CNMI, American Samoa, Palau, the Marshall Islands and the  Federated States of Micronesia — Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei and Yap.

Muna, who is also the president of PIHOA executive board, said the CNMI has an adequate supply of test kits for community members and inbound passengers.

As of Sunday, the CNMI had reported 54 Covid-19 cases and two deaths since March.

Cooperation

In related news, Muna is appealing to the community to cooperate with contact tracing investigation. “In order for us to stop the spread [of the Covid-19 virus], CHCC needs more information  necessary to contain it.”

She said members of the public can help stop the spread by practicing the three Ws — washing hands, wearing masks and watching your distance from other people.

“I know that it is hard to say no to a family invitation, or no to hug someone you have not seen in a while. We are doing something not culturally acceptable. But preserving our culture requires us to save our lives and the manamko’ from this disease,” Muna said.

Muna noted that for the past months, the CNMI had been successful in fighting the spread of the disease. “Unfortunately, someone let their guard down, but we will continue our message about the three Ws.”

 

 

 

 

 

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